Missouri bank robber who fled on bicycle gets nearly 5 years

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - A Missouri man who admitted robbing six banks to pay for a heroin addiction and fleeing on a bicycle was sentenced on Tuesday to nearly 5 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Shawn Christopher Becker, 43, robbed the Columbia, Missouri banks over seven weeks ending in January 2015, receiving about $14,000 total, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City said. He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.Becker, who pleaded guilty in August, typically approached smiling and handed a bank teller a bag and a note asking for big bills and advising compliance, prosecutors said in a statement. He never showed a gun or other weapon, officials said.

After fleeing the banks, Becker would jump on a waiting bicycle, prosecutors said. In his last robbery, Becker fled along a paved path and left the bike and outer clothing by a wooded creek, and stuffed the cash in his boots, the statement said. Officers who recognized him from videos of previous robberies captured him as he walked alongside a road.

Becker told the FBI he committed the robberies to pay for his heroin addition, officials said.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by James Dalgleish)